What DO those MBAs learn?

I get to read a lot of reports done by MBAs at the end of their programs, mostly strategy assessments for some opportunity an organisation is facing. There is a pretty standard pattern – they [a] assess the competitive forces involved [no numbers of course!], concluding that the situation is ‘attractive’ to some degree [b] carry out some qualitative assessment of the organisation’s capabilities, then – if you’re lucky – [c] conclude that the opportunity is a good idea.

Nowhere do they actually explain the organisation’s business model – how many customers, of what size, buying how muh volume of what products or services, requiring what capacity, staffing, service etc., at what cost. As for competitors, they barely get a mention, let alone a serious appraisal of relative strengths of resources and capabilities.

If this is typical, no wonder the top recruiters are complaining that emerging MBAs know nothing useful about strategy, leaving those employers needing to give them basic training before they put them to work.

It would be great to hear of better final work done by graduating MBAs, if you know of any, and listing of the kinds of analysis you see in that good work. 


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